The Grinnell College Muslim Student Association will host Islamic Awareness Week, beginning Sunday, Feb. 11, at Grinnell College. All events are free and open to the public.
"I hope this week provides the Grinnell community an opportunity to learn more about the experiences and the struggles of Muslim Americans in this country," says Farah Omer ’19, co-president of the Muslim Student Association. "And to borrow from Professor Caleb Elfenbein, our goal for the programming is to present something other than an apologist view of Islam. We want to highlight the lives of Muslims — the debates that animate life within Muslim communities, as well as some of the struggles that mark life for Muslims in the United States."
On Sun., Feb. 11, the film Between Allah and Me (and Everyone Else) will be screened at 4 p.m.in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 152. This award-winning film explores four Muslim women's challenges as they decide to start or stop wearing the hijab. The movie will be followed by a panel of Grinnell College faculty and students who will discuss their own journeys and challenges with the veil.
On Monday, Feb. 12, Debra Majeed, professor of religious studies at Beloit College, will give the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. Her address is titled "Born for the 21st Century U.S.: Unmasking Illusions About Muslim Female Identity."
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Caleb Elfenbein, associate professor of history and religious studies, and his two student research assistants, Julia Schafer ’18 and Farah Omer, will present their research project, "Mapping Islamophobia: Visualizing Hate and Its Effect." The project documents incidents of Islamophobia in the United States and efforts of Muslim Americans to humanize themselves in the face of increasingly hostile attitudes towards Muslims. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 101.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Grinnell College students will present their Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs) about Islamophobia in American public life beginning at 4:15 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.
On Thursday, Feb. 15, Iowa City Councilwoman Mazahir Salih will speak about running for public office and issues that matter to her as an Iowan and an American. The event will begin at 4:15 p.m. at the Drake Community Library, 930 Park St., Grinnell, and will be followed by an open reception.
Islamic Awareness Week will conclude at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, when a public jumma prayer will take place at the College's Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice. Henna, arts, crafts, and Turkish culinary delights also will be offered at 4 p.m. in the CRSSJ.
In addition to the Muslim Student Association, the week of events is supported by the Grinnell College Institute for Global Engagement, Center for the Humanities, French and Arabic department, Religious Studies department, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice, the Student Government Association, the Program in Practical Political Education, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights.